Our first volunteering – hand feeding koalas, and more! (Travis)

“We’ll see the end of the koala in the wild in our lifetime.” – An Australia Wildlife Hospital volunteer.

Quincy and I spent the last couple of days volunteering at the Australia Wildlife Hospital (http://www.wildlifewarriors.org.au/wildlife_hospital/), right next door to the Australia Zoo (that’s Steve Irwin’s zoo.) What an experience…

The first day we worked mostly with the turtles – cleaning pools and feeding them mostly. They love fresh squid… yum. Remember my past blogs about the evils of plastic? These guys are mostly here because they ate plastic, which blocked their digestive systems. When they get sick, their guts fill with air, and they float to the surface – sometimes to be found by nice people at wildlife hospitals, other times to be found by other hungry critters. These are the lucky few – even the one missing a flipper. That first one weighs 220 pounds.





Yesterday we were promoted to koala duty! These are wild koalas, not zoo animals, and they aren’t used to being inches from people. Many of the koalas were in for human-related injuries…one had bullet wounds, others had been hit by cars, and several were in due to being attacked by dogs. But still, they’re more curious than frightened – one even tried to touch my face as I walked by – for obvious reasons I didn’t let him (those are some mean claws, even when they’re used gently.) The highlight was hand feeding one of their koalas some sort of paste, followed by vitamin B, followed by syringe after syringe (after syringe… 45 times over…) of water, followed by yogurt. They eat as well as I do in that hospital. Quincy got to do the same, and at the same time, so we unfortunately don’t have pictures of that… but we snapped a ton of others.






Naptime


The koala houses - each building holds over 20 koalas.


A baby exploring while mom sleeps.



They also have a bunch of birds – parrots of some sort, I don’t know exactly which. This guy (Reno) is a bit of their mascot, and talks up a storm, usually to himself. He has a neurological disorder that causes him to pluck his own feathers, hence the little sweater.

Reno. He loves to say "hello Reno."

It’s amazing, and encouraging, that we were able to walk in one day and ask to volunteer, and the next day be working. I hope the rest of our volunteering goes as well as this did!

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~ by stormcellar on November 17, 2010.

7 Responses to “Our first volunteering – hand feeding koalas, and more! (Travis)”

  1. That sweater is awesome!

  2. thats not what i was expecting when you siad turtle!that thing is humongous…and awesome!!

  3. That was a sweater? Where did his feathers go?

  4. Boy do we love your blogs! It makes us want to return to Australia. Papa fell through the barn roof on Tues. and is very sore.! He’s bruised and has a partially collapsed lung. He’s supposed to take deep breaths to re-inflate the lung. He’s lucky no ribs were broken. That was surprising. He fell on his tool chest and other things before he hit the ground. Of course this happened in the morning while I was at work. He finally told me about his “little fall” at 9:00 that evening when he decided I should check him out. You gotta love him. We will only have 17 for Thanksgiving this year. Devon is engaged and will eat in San Jose at her parents. They may come up to see us. Wait till he hears about Papa! We’ll miss you at our table but know that you are having a great time. Love and kisses Papa and Gram.

  5. So you found the infamous “Ko-whala!” … I bet my research from the internets was invaluable. It didn’t say anything about their fashionable red earrings though.

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